Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways


Janne is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Groninger Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen (Netherlands). She studies how migratory birds can adapt their behaviour when environments rapidly change. Key focus has been following the whereabouts of Pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca in Europe and West-Africa since 2011. Janne values curiosity-driven and collaborative research, and likes to communicate this to a wide public by sharing insights, enthusiasm, and vision. Her involvement in applied ecological research and the Dutch Ornithological Union (NOU), has like her research, moved towards a flyway-perspective, with a special interest for highly needed conservation research and capacity building in West Africa. The MLSG and the Comoé research station (Côte d'Ivoire) provide a great and stimulating way to facilitate this.

Acting Chair

Carles manages the RSPB International Migrants Programme, made of the ‘Birds without Borders’ programme, focusing on 11 UK-breeding priority landbird species, and the East Atlantic Flyway Initiative of BirdLife International. His work seeks to bring together targeted research, capacity building, policy, and conservation on-the-ground to address the threats to migratory birds and revert population declines. He is an experienced conservationist, having previously worked on seabird mortality, site-based conservation, and invasive alien species. He holds a PhD on bird population dynamics in the wintering areas; much of his research is based on the use of ringing data and capture-mark-recapture analytical methods..


Wouter has done his PhD at the University of Amsterdam where he investigated how weather shapes the migration of European Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus) from thermal to flyway. Wouter started in migrant landbird conservation at the Batumi Raptor Count, where he focused mainly on coordination and development of educational tools and projects involving dozens of volunteers, regional students and school children. He continues to coordinate migration research in conjunction with capacity­-building activities in Batumi, and dreams about heading south with the birds into Africa. Through the MLSG, Wouter wants to help facilitate collaborative research that will benefit birds and people across the flyways.


Rien has done his PhD at the Swiss Ornithological Institute on migration strategies of Hoopoes and Wrynecks to investigate effects of breeding on migration and vice versa within the annual cycle. Currently, he is working as a consultant and freelance researcher in the field of Animal Movement Ecology. Besides his professional affiliation with birds and bird migration in particular, he loves to be out in the field and has been involved in several fieldwork projects across Europe and Africa. For the MLSG he is in charge of the money and tries to keep the website up to date.

Communications Officer

Lykke is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen investigating spatio­temporal patterns of songbird migration within and across migration systems. Lykke and Dayo manage MLSG communications, which includes the social media (Facebook and Twitter) as well as the design and production of outreach materials.

Communications Officer

Dayo holds a postdoc position at the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, studying movement patterns of intra­continental migratory landbirds in sub­Saharan Africa. Lykke and Dayo manage MLSG communications, which includes the MLSG's social media presence (Facebook and Twitter) as well as the design and production of outreach materials.

Conservation Officer

Wieland is a PhD student working on population trends and migration routes of Eastern Palaearctic landbirds. Most of his research is based in Far East Russia, where he has started the Amur Bird Project in 2011. At the MLSG, he wants to promote exchange between researchers and conservationists among flyways.

Conservation Officer

Sam did his PhD at the University of St Andrews. His PhD which involved a lot of fieldwork across several habitats in Nigeria investigated some prevailing hypotheses about the factors influencing the distribution and density of Palearctic migrants in the Afrotropics. Since completing his PhD in 2015, Sam returned and has been working at the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) in Jos, Nigeria as a Research & Teaching Fellow. More recently, Sam has also been managing the Nigeria Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP) – a citizen science project seeking to promote public participation in updating information about the distribution and natural history of birds and biodiversity in Nigeria. Sam will like to see improved capacity for the conservation of Afro-Palearctic migrants as well as Afrotropical resident birds in Africa and enjoys contributing to the capacity building work at APLORI.

Newsletter Editor

Will is Professor of Biology at St Andrews University and has been studying migrants in Africa since 1994. Key interests are determining the factors determining the density, distribution and migratory connectivity of Palearctic migrants in West Africa and particularly how they survive in anthropogenic and degraded habitats. Key species to date have been common whitethroats, whinchats and Cyprus wheatears. Will is heavily involved in capacity building for conservation in West Africa, managing and teaching at the AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute in Nigeria since 2001. Will has been an Editor for Ibis, Bird Study, Behavioural Ecology & Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.